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The Best Old Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole

The Best Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole is a timeless and comforting dish that’s been a staple in American households for generations. This classic casserole offers a perfect blend of creamy, cheesy, and savory flavors, making it a go-to recipe for busy weeknights or a crowd-pleasing dish at family gatherings. In this comprehensive blog post, we’ll guide you through creating the ultimate Tuna Noodle Casserole, sharing tips and tricks along the way.

Join us as we take a trip down memory lane to revisit this beloved comfort food, with a modern twist and some keto and low-carb variations for those looking to indulge without the guilt. Whether you’re an experienced home cook or new to the kitchen, this recipe is sure to become a cherished favorite in your household.

Ingredients

For the Casserole:

  1. 12 ounces wide egg noodles: The star of the dish and a nostalgic favorite.
  2. 2 cans (10.5 ounces each) canned tuna, drained: Packed with flavor and protein.
  3. 1 cup frozen peas: Adds a pop of color and a touch of sweetness.
  4. 1 cup sliced mushrooms: For an earthy and umami depth.
  5. 1/2 cup diced onions: Provides a mild, savory base.
  6. 1/2 cup diced celery: Adds a refreshing crunch.
  7. 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese: For that ooey-gooey goodness.
  8. 1/4 cup mayonnaise: To create a creamy and luscious sauce.
  9. 1/4 cup sour cream: Adds a pleasant tanginess.
  10. 1/4 cup chicken broth: To enhance the savory flavors.
  11. 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard: For a touch of zing.
  12. 1 teaspoon garlic powder: Infuses the dish with a subtle garlic aroma.
  13. Salt and black pepper: To season to perfection.

For the Topping:

  1. 1 cup crushed potato chips or bread crumbs (optional): For a crispy, golden top.

For Keto and Low-Carb Version:

  • Replace the wide egg noodles with spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash.
  • Omit the potato chips or use crushed pork rinds for the topping.

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Noodles

  1. Cook the wide egg noodles according to the package instructions until they are al dente. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Saute the Vegetables

  1. In a large skillet, sauté the diced onions, sliced mushrooms, and diced celery in a little oil until they become tender and slightly caramelized.

Step 3: Create the Creamy Sauce

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, chicken broth, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Step 4: Assemble the Casserole

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked egg noodles, sautéed vegetables, drained canned tuna, and frozen peas.
  2. Pour the creamy sauce mixture over the noodle and tuna mixture, and gently toss until everything is well coated.
  3. Stir in 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.

Step 5: Bake the Casserole

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Transfer the casserole mixture into a greased 9×13-inch baking dish.
  3. Top the casserole with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese.
  4. If desired, sprinkle crushed potato chips or breadcrumbs over the cheese for a crispy topping.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly and the top is golden brown.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy

  1. Let the casserole cool for a few minutes, then serve it warm.
  2. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley or a sprinkle of paprika if you like.

Cook’s Notes 

  • Don’t overcook the egg noodles. They will continue to cook while baking in the casserole.
  • Feel free to customize your casserole by adding ingredients like diced red bell peppers, pimientos, or a pinch of cayenne for extra flavor.

Variations

Creamy Tuna Zoodle Casserole (Keto and Low-Carb)

For a keto and low-carb version, swap out the wide egg noodles for spiralized zucchini (zoodles) or spaghetti squash. These options provide a wonderful pasta-like texture without the carbs. Adjust the cooking time slightly to account for the zoodles or squash.

Cheesy Tuna Noodle Casserole

To take your classic Tuna Noodle Casserole to a new

level of cheesiness, consider mixing in a blend of your favorite cheese. Gruyere, Swiss, or Monterey Jack can add distinct flavors to the dish.

Tuna Noodle Casserole with a Kick

For those who enjoy a bit of spice, add some diced jalapeños, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce to the creamy sauce. This will give your casserole a delightful kick.

The Best Old-Fashioned Tuna Noodle Casserole is a beloved classic that evokes fond memories of home-cooked meals. With its delightful combination of creamy sauce, tender noodles, and flaky tuna, this dish is a crowd-pleaser for all generations. By following our versatile recipe, you can enjoy the traditional version or opt for a keto or low-carb adaptation to fit your dietary preferences. Whether you’re cooking it for a cozy family dinner or a potluck gathering, this casserole is sure to bring smiles and warm hearts. Serve it up with a side salad or some steamed veggies for a complete and satisfying meal. Enjoy your culinary journey, and savor every nostalgic bite of this delightful comfort food classic.

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